Reflections in Blue: Jenny Q. Chai at Le Poisson Rouge
Jenny Q. Chai, piano
Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2012
Written by Scottie Roche
On Sunday, November 4th, I had the immense pleasure of leaving behind the troubles inflicted on New York City and much of the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy to be transported to that other realm we call Music, by way of Jenny Q Chai’s show at Le Poisson Rouge. Understandably, things had been tense of late with a pivotal national election looming and the city devastated by a storm that had left the very area of the concert’s venue in total darkness for a week — Le Poisson Rouge was without power until the night before the concert.
That the performance happened at all is a testament to the resilience of New York City and the perseverance of an endearing performer who though she had difficulty reaching NYC from China and had spent the last few nights sleeping on the couches of friends (which she assured us were very comfortable.) “The show must go on,” the old adage maintains. I’m glad it did. Continue reading
“I believe it’s extremely important to get peoples’ spirits up. By playing no matter what. After all, I was lucky to make it from China. I think it’s important and good chance to show we are not going to be defeated by this condition.”~Jenny Q. Chai
In the aftermath of this past week’s Hurricane Sandy, lower Manhattan slowly has been getting power restored, and Le Poisson Rouge is one of many venues that are reopening. Pianist Jenny Q. Chai is going to be taking the stage yet again in her first NY appearance since her Carnegie Hall debut this past April.
The concert will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm). Ms. Chai will perform works by Satie, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Scarlatti, Stroppa, and more. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street in New York City. For more information or tickets ($15/$20), visit LePoissonRouge.com Continue reading
Australian-born double-bassist/composer/vocalist/DJ Lisa Dowling is about to turn “Dirty Thirty” and celebrate it with a concert on Monday, October 1st, kicking off Vicky Chow’s Contagious Sounds series at 8 PM at the Gershwim Hotel. Lisa will be giving people a really good cross-section of her great artistry, and as you’ll see on this page, there’s much that she has already done in that vein. She had some time to talk about that stuff as well as that great Ear To Mind concert we covered here at The Glass.
You may know her also from the two NY ensembles Concert Black and Heavy Hands, and her gig as a DJ, but just to listen to what she does on an instrument that doesn’t seem to get nearly as much face time as the cello, violin or piano, and adding other elements, you’ll see she is an amazing solo performer.
BTW, programming note: The Glass will be streaming the concert as it happens. Continue reading
Photos courtesy of Jeremy Shatan
100 Waltzes for John Cage
the [kāj] ensemble
DiMenna Center for Classical Music at Mary Flagler Cary Hall, NYC
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Written by Jeremy Shatan
The last time I was at the Dimenna Center, Talea Ensemble was performing some of the most intense, radical modern music I’ve heard. Yet the chairs were all in rows, just like any concert. For the [kāj] ensemble‘s 100 Waltzes For John Cage, however, the seats were set up in irregular little pods around the center of the room, making it immediately apparent that something unusual would be taking place. Because I didn’t think Cage would want me to, I tried not to spend too much time thinking about where to sit. Continue reading
In this, the banner year for John Cage (and his 100th birthday), there are and have been quite a few birthday-oriented homages to his life and career from various festivals given by collectives around the world, and specially-themed shows by ensembles such as Sō Percussion and Alarm Will Sound. Here’s another one for you–Composer-performer Kevin James had a few minutes and 33 seconds to talk about his group, the [kaj] ensemble‘s 100 Waltzes for John Cage concerts that are slated for August 21, 22, and 23 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music at Mary Flagler Cary Hall in New York.
John Cage: Concert for Piano and Orchestra from Avant Media on Vimeo.
As part of the 2012 Avant Music Festival’s “Cage, Unlocked” program, an excerpt of the 20 minute performance of John Cage’s seminal “Concert for Piano and Orchestra” performed in celebration of Cage’s 100th Birthday.
John Cage (1912-1992)
Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-58)
Vicky Chow, piano
Alejandro T. Acierto, clarinets
Jeffrey Gavett, voice
William Lang, trombone
Andrew Kozar, trumpets
Gelsey Bell, voice
Drew Blumberg, violin
Nicole Camacho, flutes
Victor Lowrie, viola
Kryssy Wright, chance-determined lighting design
Recorded on February 11. 2012 at The Wild Project, NYC
EDITOR’S NOTE: The group is still trying to raise money through KICKSTARTER for the CD Cage, Unlocked, and you can take part in this as well!
Click here to donate to Avant Music’s Kickstarter campaign for the Cage, Unlocked CD
Pictured L to R: William Lang, Vicky Chow, Drew Blumberg, and Randy Gibson performing John Cage’s “Four3” at the John Cage at 100 show in NY; 2/11/12; Below, Vicky Chow performing the Sonatas and Interludes also at the Cage at 100 show (Photos courtesy of Hugh Burckhardt for Avant Media)
Composer and founding member of the music collective Avant Media Randy Gibson had some time to speak with us about a campaign he started on Kickstarter (the fundraiser of choice these days) for a new CD of the music from a concert I actually went to–The John Cage at 100 concert that was held during the Avant Music Festival back in February in NY (I even reviewed this concert on my one-time haunt Sequenza 21). That concert was a great display of the diversity of the Cage catalog and the fascinating difference in tonality between the earlier and later works, and we also saw that some of the works are obviously not yet suitable for Cage beginners.
The CD features selections from the concert performed by Vicky Chow, loadbang, Megan Schubert and Gelsey Bell among others.
If you want to contribute, click up here or on the big link at the bottom. Continue reading